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3 Feb 2021

KOTA KINABALU: Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Masidi Manjun said the state government has never issued any restriction on independent preacher Ebit Lew to carry out his charity work.

He said he had checked with the police and also the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) and it was confirmed that no ban was issued.

"However, keep in mind that the waters of East Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) are still under the enforcement of the curfew order.

"There are security risks that need to be taken into account. The security forces also take this issue seriously because they do not want the public to be the target of any attempted criminal acts in the waters," he said.

He was responding to the media's question about the aid distribution programmes by Ebit Lew on the islands of Semporna which had to stop.

According to Masidi, under the government, there is no restriction for anyone who wants to carry out charity work.

"I hope this statement can explain the assumption as if the government imposed a ban on him (Ebit) to do charity work.

"On the part of the government, we really appreciate what Ebit Lew did but the charity programme must be done according to the time allowed," he said.

In his Facebook page, Ebit Lew stated that he was not allowed to enter the islands of Semporna and aid distribution was asked to be stopped.

He said it was understood that a fine of up to RM100,000 or three years imprisonment could be imposed on him.

Due to that, he had to postpone the construction plan of a small school or local community centre in Tatagan Island. Semporna.

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